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Information Access Division

We foster trust in technologies that make sense of complex information relating to human action, behavior, characteristics and communication through the advancement of measurement, evaluation and standards.

The Information Access Division (IAD) is one of six technical divisions in the Information Technology Laboratory.

IAD is known for our world-class evaluation-driven research programs that accelerate the readiness of emerging technologies for widespread deployment. For decades, IAD has fostered community evaluations for foundational Artificial Intelligence in research areas such as human language technologies, biometrics, search, information retrieval and natural language processing.   IAD advances the measurement science, develops novel evaluation paradigms, and performs research to ensure technology is developed and used correctly and efficiently.

Through collaborations with industry, academia, and the federal government, IAD enables the advancement of these technologies and provides the technical underpinnings to support the development of standards.


Image representing Multimodal Information
Credit: Shutterstock

Multimodal Information Group

The Multimodal Information Group focuses on measurement and evaluation methods to facilitate the use of technologies that provide easier access to multimedia and multilingual information and improve human-computer interface modalities.  


Image Representing Digital Video Exchange Standards
Credit: Shutterstock

Retrieval Group

The Retrieval Group facilitates retrieval research involving large, unstructured text files by providing test collections and organizing the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) and its proceedings. The group focuses mainly on collections to support specific information retrieval sub-tasks, such as cross-language retrieval and multimedia retrieval.


Image representing biometrics
Credit: Shutterstock

Image Group

The Image Group focuses on developing standards, measurements, evaluations, and best practice guidelines for biometric technologies. The Group promotes accuracy and interoperability by working closely with other government agencies, law enforcement, industry, and academia to support needs in the biometrics community.

Digital contents concept. Social networking service. Streaming video. NFT. Non-fungible token.
Credit: Shutterstock

Visualization and Usability Group

The Visualization and Usability Group performs research to develop user-centered measurement and evaluation methods, guidelines, and standards by applying human factors, cognitive science, user-centered design, and usability principles to improve human system interaction. 




AI Metrology Colloquia Series

Thu, Jul 18 2024, 12:00 - 1:00pm EDT
As a follow-on to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine workshop on Assessing and Improving AI

Projects and Programs


The standard specifies formats to be used for exchanging fingerprint and other image data.

Biometric Compression Information

In July of 2009 NIST in partnership with the FBI commenced an investigation on the use of JPEG 2000 for compressing fingerprint imagery with the ultimate goal

Biometric Quality

Performance of biometric systems is dependent on the quality of the acquired input samples. If quality can be improved, either by sensor design, by user



The biometrics community recommended a new, open source, generalized version of NFIQ to be developed in consultation and collaboration with users and industry.

Video Analytic Quality Measurement Tools

This Tool set has been created to facilitate video quality metric research and foster future R&D. Development was sponsored as part of video quality research by

Biometric Evaluation Framework

Biometric Evaluation Framework is a set of C++ classes, error codes, and design patterns used to create a common environment to provide logging, data management


Press Coverage


Division Chief

Deputy Division Chief